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Autobiography of My Dead Brother

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  693 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers has written a realistic urban novel that probes a fatal crisis in the life of two boys. Jesse, the book's narrator, and Rise are best friends, but as time passes, Rise grows increasingly alienated and unpredictable. Living in a neighborhood where gang fights and drive-by shootings are almost commonplace, Jesse wonders whether he and hi...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Amistad (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,488)
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Carrie Lawler
Ah, another fabulous book! Set in Harlem, it centers around a group of teen boys that have to make important life choices. The protagonist, Jesse, narrates using first-person pov. Rise is Jesse's "blood brother" who begins to take interest in the gang lifestyle that he and Jesse always said they would avoid. Along the way, Jesse begins creating an autobiography of Rise through sketches. Sketches are thrown throughout the book, along with some comics, that compliment the plot and the characters o...more
christopher
Book review

Christopher Jordan 12/3/08

The book that I have finished is a novel called Autobiography of my dead Brother. This story is by award winning Walter Dean Myers. This story is fiction and the main theme of this story is even your own best friend can change on you by the surroundings as drugs, gun, gangs and the only thing you would have to fall back on is your family.
Autobiography of my Dead Brother is based on a fifthteen year old black male name Jesse. This story takes place in Harlem...more
Kamrin
I picked this book up because it's an award winning book, and because I love Walter Dean Myers. This reminds my of Diary of a Wimpy Kid in that it has some graphics, but I wouldn't call it a graphic novel. It is a story about Jesse and Rise. Two blood brothers who are learning how to deal with the fact they're growing up and growing apart. They live in Harlem and are members of a "club" not a gang. When a series of drive-bys start happening around the neighborhood, it separates the two brothers...more
Cassandra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shae N.
Jan 09, 2011 Shae N. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
i thought this was thee best book that i have read so far becuase i can really really really relate to it. in the book these kids are in a gang, that part doesnt relate to me but i know people who are in a gang. one of the kids are trying their hardest to keep out of the gang banging thing and he is also trying to keep his best friend/ brother out of it too. one of the main character decides that he will wirte an autobiography about Rise, his brother. the one reason why i really relate to this b...more
Caroline
I've been semi-avoiding any Walter Dean Myers books the past few years because they hit way to close to home, if by home I mean school. Working with the kids that I do and living the sadness, anger, and frustrations of Black youth on a daily basis, I don't generally jump at the chance to read about it for fun. However, this title was one I'd chosen for my classroom library because I thought it sounded interesting and I found it to be an intelligent and insightful portrayal of life in the inner-c...more
Joe
The Counts are just a social club until their leader goes to prison and attempts to persuade the boys to retaliate on his behalf. Rise, the self-appointed replacement, says the club won't do the other boy's bidding, but even Jesse, whom Rise tasks to write an autobiography, sees the subtle differences that make his childhood friend unrecognizable. What Rise says and what Rise does are at stark odds, and the former social club just might find itself in the middle of a gang warfare.

It's a quick re...more
Alexis Guidry
In Harlem, Autobiography of My Dead Brother follows the brotherly friendship between Rise and Jesse. Rise, taking the wrong path, becomes a gang member and a drug dealer. Jesse, on the other hand, becomes a great artist and tries to understand the complications of a true friendship. Also dealing with his neighborhood getting so gang-involved he tries to keep art his get away from everything negative around him.
This award winning book gets my fifth, sixth, and seventh star. A great book for tee...more
Nicole
"It was news but it wasn't a surprise."

The story of one teen's rise and fall on the gang-ruled streets of upper Manhattan, told through the eyes of his childhood friend and comic artist.

This story will capture the attention of teens who crave action and violence in their stories, but it also gives thought-provoking insight into the what leads regular kids into the path of violence. It held my attention consistently, making me sad and making me think.

"One day I seen me standing in the cold by th...more
Arthur
The autobiography of my dead brother, is about a child named who has lost his brother in a drive-by. This book is about his life and what he went through without his brother. The thing that attracted me to this book is it's depressing cover. You might think this book is a depressing story, but it's not. This book takes place in Harlem where crimes are often committed. My favorite quote is "Damn, she loved that fool more than she loved me". This quote represents how much the mother loved the son...more
SeanV CLC
Pretty good book, had a lot of slang language I didn't understand... Reasonably violent, has lots of gang wars, violence, discrimination. It is also reasonably sad.
Shanae
One of the best books I've ever read in my entire life.
Christie
Jun 05, 2013 Christie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
While this wasn't a book I particularly enjoyed, I absolutely see its merits. Autobiography of My Dead Brother is the story of 15-year-old Jesse who grows up in a violent New York neighbourhood. He's smart, talented and although he's got all the typical teenage issues - he's not going to make decisions which adversely impact his life.

His best friend is Rise. Rise is seventeen and he and Jesse have been friends since they were little.


"His mother likes to tell me that when Rise first saw me, he wa...more
Matt
Apr 27, 2008 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
I was lucky enough to meet Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers (who drew the artwork for this book) and they both signed my copy! Walter Dean Myers grew up in Harlem, and I can't help but wonder how much of this story is based on actual events and how much of this story is complete fiction...

Told from the first-person point of view of Jesse, a 15-year-old boy who "fills his sketchbook with drawings and portraits of his blood brother, Rise, and his comic strip, Spodi Roti and Wise, as...more
Urie Louissaint
This book has a start like I have never encountered in a book before. It starts of in a church, with people mourning a death of a young male who was shot and killed in the neighborhood. It continues on about a relationship about two friends, one of which is a character named Rise he is older and begins to change as a person throughout the story. Even the relationship between him and Jesse, the character to basically narrates the story. He describes their relationship as a brotherly type feel, t...more
Jonathan Nonnemacher
"Autobiography" is another good story written by Walter Dean Myers. In my opinion, Myers is one of the best writers - within the urban realism genre and just teen writing in general. Another book by Myers, "Scorpions" was required reading in 8th grade, and I still remember liking that book a lot.

"Autobiography" is about Jesse, a teen in Harlem with a talent for art. He struggles with two conflicting paths ahead of him - staying on the straight and narrow, or being pulled into a world of drugs, v...more
Jake B
Right from the title of the book, Autobiography of my Dead Brother, instantly caught my attention. The more I read this book by Walter Dean Myers, the more I couldn’t stop reading. It is an emotional book with an unsuspecting twist that would make anyone who read this book love it. The story of each character can leave an emotional feel on the reader.
This book is told through the mind of Jesse, the fifteen year old main character. The book opens dramatically at his best friend’s funeral. Jesse...more
Steven Jones
This book is powerful, both in its text and its illustrations. The subject matter is very real (and very violent, if that sort of thing bothers you) but what I like most about it is the honesty. The book is written as more of a journal than an autobiography and Jesse deals with some serious stuff in the book. However, the book is not filled with extreme emotion, but instead Jesse's somewhat complacent attitude about death and violence (although he obviously disagrees with it) is what is so power...more
Jay Robinson
Autobiography of my Dead brother is a great book. It relates to kids who are brought up in a negative environment and shows how that type of environment can influence a kid to make bad decisions. Rise was that kid in this book. He hung around the wrong people, and they had a negative influence on him. His bestfriend Jesse was the main character, and the kid that truthfully didn't want to have to deal with gangs and all that trouble, but because his "blood brother" was there, so was he.
Rise go...more
Jen
Lit. class review:

This title was nominated for the National Book Award in 2005, but has otherwise gone unnoticed by the rewards committees. II was interested in reading one of Myers’ less known books. It is illustrated by his son, Christopher Myers, who won the Caldecott Award for another of their collaborations. The illustrations are a mixture of gritty and cartoon-like comic book sketches. I wonder if the images will be used to advance the story or simply to expand upon it.

p. 72 – Jesse is a b...more
Smaileh
Jesse is a young African-American teen growing up in the 'hood. Rise is an older boy who has been Jesse's friend since forever; they even did the blood brothers thing when they were little. Well, Jesse was too scared to actually cut his finger but when he fell and scraped his knee, Rise cut his finger and they mingled blood then. They are as close, if not closer, than actual brothers. But lately, Jesse has been noticing a change in Rise.

Jesse and his friends have a social club, the Counts, which...more
Kim
Utterly relatable characters, real dialog, and the tension between two blood-brother friends who are making decisions about how involved they want to be in the gang lifestyle of their neighborhood make this a stand-out in urban fiction. I listened to the audio version, and narrator J. D. Jackson does an outstanding job of bringing Jesse and his friends and family to life. Walter Dean Myers had such a feel for urban teens, and it shines through in this story.
Kate
I have read this with several groups of students and I prefer it to most of WDM's books. The addition of artwork/cartooning adds depth to the story and encourages critical reading among students. Myers sets his characters apart from those in other 'urban' tales through their sensitivity and artistry. I've often thought that if you've read one Myers novel, you've read them all. They certainly maintain a stock set of characteristics, but AOMDB was definitely above his typical par.
Tyler
Oct 06, 2011 Tyler added it
The book "The Autobiography of My Dead Brother" is a pretty good book. Same ole stuff happens as usal books about the ghetto...kids growing up in the ghetto, some make it some dont. This book will touch you if you have lost a close friend or relative like i have done myself. It makes you relaize and wonder how bad they had it and what it would be like... I wouldnt recommend this book to anyone who doesnt like to read about losing someone close or deaths or anything in that area but if it doesnt...more
Adrian Millan
My teacher Mrs.Augustine said if i like "Monster" i would definitly like this book. this book is about a kid named Jesse and his bestfriend named Rice. They were like blood brothers,but than Rice starts hanging out with gangs and Jesse doesnt like it. Jesse starts to imagine how the old Rice was and he starts drawing him but he cant remember how the old Rice use to look like. My favorite quote is "The thing was that me and Rice were blood brothers, but sometimes i really didnt know him." I like...more
Elvis
This book is about Jesse and how his life was leading to his brother's death. It takes place in Harlem, New York. Jesse is about 13 years old. I like that this book isnt a fairy tale and tells the truth about how life is in this enviorment where bad things happen. My favorite character is Jesse because he's the one that has to make decisions and he gets in trouble and he just seems like a real person. I like the authors writing style because he just makes every single character come to life and...more
Jose Sanchez
this book was a great and fantastic book. I rated this book 5 stars because it's so realistic. in this book the author made the characters so real,and there problems. at the beginning of the book someone already died. i find that harsh and sad because death is always a sad thing. the characters are always getting into trouble with gangs and the street that someone is always dieing or getting shot. i think that the characters have chances to get out the street but, they just decide not to. i kno...more
Kirsten
Walter Dean Myers has done it again. This is the touching, realistic story of a young man, Jesse, growing up in a neighborhood fraught with violence, who must rely on his family, friends, and his own good sense in order to survive and prosper. When his oldest friend, Rise, starts getting involved in drug-dealing and violent crime, Jesse is almost unsure whether to truly believe it's happening, since Rise has always spoken out against drugs and gangs. But Rise thinks he sees a way to get out of t...more
Mina^_^
Nov 25, 2011 Mina^_^ rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!(older than 12)
Recommended to Mina^_^ by: Goodreads
Autobiography of My Dead Brother is a book narrated by a boy named Jesse in Harlem, New York. Jesse is fifteen and best friends and "blood brothers" with Rise. Rise and Jesse deal with the unfortunate, but frequent deaths of teenagers, gang rivalries, and drive-bys that goes around in their neighborhoods. All around Jesse his friends and people in the neighborhood are changing, among them includes Rise. Jesse has to choose whether to be apart of this or let it go by and leave the people he's bee...more
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13291
pseudonyms:
Stacie Williams
Stacie Johnson

Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but moved to Harlem with his foster parents at age three. He was brought up and went to public school there. He attended Stuyvesant High School until the age of seventeen when he joined the army.

After serving four years in the army, he worked at various jobs and earned a BA from Empi...more
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